Popliteal artery injuries associated with fractures and dislocations about the knee.

Published online: Jun 27 2001

Subasi, Cakir, Kesemenli, Arslan, Necmioglu, Eren,

Dicle University, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Diyarbakir, Turkey.


The authors present the results of a retrospective review of popliteal artery injuries associated with fractures and dislocations about the knee. They treated 41 patients with popliteal artery injuries associated with either fractures about the knee or knee dislocations. Thirty-five of the patients were males, 6 females; the mean age was 23 years. The delay before accessing the hospital was 17 hours (range: 3 hours to 10 days). Thirty-two fractures were open. Together with the vascular injury, 12 femoral fractures, 20 tibial and fibular fractures, 5 knee dislocations, 4 femoral + tibial fractures were identified. Twenty-three patients underwent external fixation, 8 internal fixation, 6 plaster cast immobilization, 4 minimal osteosynthesis and plaster cast immobilization. The arterial injury was treated by end-to-end anastomosis in 5 cases, saphenous vein anastomosis in 29 cases and thrombectomy in 7 cases. Nine patients were amputated. Delay in surgery, blunt trauma, extensive soft tissue defect and bone fracture or dislocation, are associated with high amputation rate following popliteal artery injury. The influence of each of these factors alone on the amputation rate could not be evaluated in this study, as no statistically significant correlation could be demonstrated.